Review by Brady Deeprose
Malefice are back. Five is the follow up to 2011’s genre-shifting Awaken The Tides and shows the Reading-based 5-piece really defining their unique sound. As put by Dale Butler, the band’s tenacious frontman, “You’re finally hearing this band for what it is.” With the album standing at a mere 28 minutes and 37 seconds, I was hoping for a little more bang for my buck, but despite its curt nature, Five is an insightful foray into the modern world through Dale’s provocative lyrical dissection of today’s culture, and the band’s top-rate fusion of metal and hardcore.
It’s not the classic Malefice aggression or the breakdowns that make Five great, but the huge sing-along choruses that have been missing in their previous material. I’m not talking that ‘metalcore clean vocalist’ singalong; I mean anthemic, balls-out, crowd sing-alongs that just feel epic. It’s something, from what I’ve read, that the band has always wanted to do which leads to the question, why haven’t you done it before? It’s a great sound that, coupled with the hard-hitting verses and some, at times, truly beautiful guitar parts, really makes Five a solid work.
As Malefice have evolved, Dale’s vocal approach has changed significantly with his progression from ‘death growl/scream’ to ‘shout’ becoming even more evident with this latest release. While I’m not usually into these techniques, the way it’s executed and the man’s pure conviction is enough for me to look past it and, between you and me, enjoy the large majority! The single ‘V’ doesn’t represent the album as well as some of the other tracks, most notably ‘The Great Deceiver’.
Five shows progression and even more maturity in the band’s sound and is a great indication for the future. I’m hoping their next full-length is a little more full-length but, ‘till then, these tracks are more than enough to keep my head banging.
8 out of 10
- The Great Deciever
- Never Say Die
- Reach Up